November 2, 2010
By Eden James
96% precincts reporting:
Supreme Court – Retain Baker
Supreme Court – Retain Streit
Supreme Court – Retain Ternus
The Iowa Supreme Court justices issued the following statement moments ago:
It was our great privilege to serve the people of Iowa for many years. Throughout our judicial service we endeavored to serve the people of Iowa by always adhering to the rule of law, making decisions fairly and impartially according to the law, and faithfully upholding the constitution.
We wish to thank all of the Iowans who voted to retain us for another term. Your support shows that many Iowans value fair and impartial courts. We also want to acknowledge and thank all the Iowans, from across the political spectrum and from different walks of life, who worked tirelessly over the past few months to defend Iowa’s high-caliber court system against an unprecedented attack by out-of-state special interest groups.
Finally, we hope Iowans will continue to support Iowa’s merit selection system for appointing judges. This system helps ensure that judges base their decisions on the law and the Constitution and nothing else. Ultimately, however, the preservation of our state’s fair and impartial courts will require more than the integrity and fortitude of individual judges, it will require the steadfast support of the people.
Chief Justice Marsha Ternus
Associate Justice Michael Streit
Associate Justice David Baker
The Courage Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign just sent the following press release:
Iowa Courts Hijacked By National Organization for Marriage Intimidation Campaign
Marriage equality remains law in Iowa
WASHINGTON — After tonight’s defeat of the three Iowa state Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality last year, the Human Rights Campaign and Courage Campaign condemned the National Organization for Marriage’s efforts to intimidate judges across the country.
NOM’s president Brian Brown has admitted (here) that his group’s effort in Iowa’s judicial election was actually about intimidating judges around the country into ruling against equality for millions of loving American families. In Iowa, NOM spent an unprecedented $600,000 on TV ads and a 45-county bus tour. Despite NOM’s mean-spirited and fear-driven campaign, same-sex marriage remains legal in Iowa.
“By their own admission, NOM’s Iowa strategy was about sending a warning shot to judges nationwide,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “NOM and its secret donors will target judges around the country if they rule in favor of marriage equality and will foster an anti-gay, hostile environment in the process.”
“Having seen its extremist agenda increasingly rejected by the courts and the American people, it is telling that NOM has now settled on a strategy of evading tax and election laws and trying to intimidate judges,” said Courage Campaign Founder and Chairman Rick Jacobs. “These are the tactics one might expect from Al Capone, not a credible political organization.”
Prior to its involvement in this election, NOM received a strong warning from Iowa’s ethics agency for evading campaign laws. During a 2009 special election in the state, NOM told supporters they could contribute to its Iowa campaign efforts secretly–without disclosing their names. Iowa law requires disclosure of contributors to political campaigns.
NOM is also fighting campaign finance laws in New York, Washington, Rhode Island, California and Maine, where it remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission for failing to register with the state as a ballot question committee and refusing to disclose the donors to its campaign to overturn Maine’s marriage equality law in 2009.
The Washington Independent has reported that NOM is funneling charitable donations into political campaigns. NOM’s charitable arm, The Ruth Institute, was also the subject of a recent IRS complaint filed by HRC and the Courage Campaign for repeated violations of federal law prohibiting charitable organizations from advocating on behalf of political campaigns.
UPDATE: Statement from One Iowa’s Carolyn Jenison on Iowa’s election results:
On April 3, 2009, Iowans celebrated a historic Iowa Supreme Court decision that granted the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian couples. This ruling continued a long tradition of recognizing equal rights for all Iowans. It was a hard fought victory and we knew we would have to work very hard to protect it in the years ahead. Over the past year and a half Iowans have fought off and beaten back every attempt to diminish this ruling.
In this election, three of the courageous justices who recognized the freedom to marry in Iowa fell victim to a perfect storm of electoral discontent and out-of-state special interest money. In addition, many of our pro-equality allies from Governor Culver to statehouse candidates lost their seats due to an anti-incumbent mood that swept the nation. We thank them for their distinguished service and we look forward to working with our newly elected legislature and Governor in the weeks and months ahead.
While the full implications of these election results remain to be seen, one thing remains the same:
The freedom to marry in Iowa remains intact.
In the months and weeks ahead we can expect renewed attempts to overturn the freedom to marry and write discrimination into the Iowa Constitution. It will take a concerted and collective effort on the part of pro-equality Iowans to respond to these attacks and defend on our liberties. We hope you’ll join us.
This is no time to be discouraged. While our fight may be tireless, our mission is clear. Together, we will protect marriage equality and preserve Iowa’s long tradition of equal rights for all.